When it comes to car accidents, it’s really no surprise that teenagers are considered more likely to be involved in a car accident than their older peers on the road. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the leading cause of death for those between 15 and 20 years of age, is from motor vehicle crashes.
Although teenagers certainly should be responsible for their actions behind the wheel, when an accident occurs, it can become a little more complicated as to who is actually liable for their mistakes and who should pay for damages. In most cases, an accident involving a teen is usually going to occur while driving the family car. Since the vehicle is generally owned by a parent or guardian, the parents or guardian could potentially be held liable through what is known as negligent entrustment, or rather, since the parents allowed the teenager to drive the vehicle, they are responsible for damages.
It is important to realize, however, that parents aren’t the only ones who may be held responsible for accidents that their teenager causes. If the teenager borrows a friend’s car, the friend that loaned it to him or her could potentially be liable as well. This would mean that you could potentially sue both of the parties for damages, but in most cases it is probably going to be the owner of the car and one’s insurance company that you are going to have to deal with.
Individuals in New York who have been in a car crash involving a teenage driver could find it beneficial to learn more about their legal rights as they may be entitled to compensation for their losses or injuries.
Source: FindLaw, “Are Teen Drivers Liable for Car Accidents?,” Brett Snider, April. 20, 2015